Letters to the Editor: Judge Benitez’s praise for the AR-15 is really disturbing

A salesman shows a gun buyer a custom-made AR-15-style rifle
A gun buyer examines a custom-made AR-15-style rifle in Orem, Utah.
(AFP / Getty Images)

To the editor: In throwing out California’s 32-year-old assault-weapons ban, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez compared the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife and praised it as a “perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment.”

He failed to mention the AR-15’s versatile offensive uses: to kill people watching a “Batman” movie in a theater, to mow down observants attending religious worship, and to slaughter first-graders.

We can debate how effective gun bans are, but it is disturbing to hear such effusive praise for these weapons that have inflicted so much death and suffering on innocent families, friends and fellow Americans with so little social utility in return.


Richard Keavney, Torrance


To the editor: In the grand scheme of things, I am no one special. But even voiceless stay-at-home moms like me must speak out every now and then.

Was this judge trying to be glib or funny with his comparison of an assault weapon to a Swiss Army knife? Really? I think that is a massive insult to everyone who has lost loved ones to bullets fired from such military-style rifles.

This nonsense about the 2nd Amendment protecting the right to bear military-style weapons has to stop. The founding fathers in their wildest nightmares could never have dreamed up this type of weaponry for home protection.

I hope that someone more powerful than a stay-at-home mom like me successfully stands up to this judge and gets this ruling tossed out.

Margaret Blanchard, Torrance



To the editor: Considering that the U.S. Constitution make no mention of sports, hunting or personal self-defense, exactly what kind of firearm does the 2nd Amendment actually protect? If not a militia-grade firearm such as the civilian AR-15, then what?

The 2nd Amendment is a fully ratified portion of the Constitution and is therefore part of the supreme law of the land. The federal judge in this instance made the right call.

The 2nd Amendment must be taken at its word until such time as it is modified or repealed.

Brian Bloedel, Accomac, Va.


To the editor: Yes, both the AR-15 and the Swiss Army knife are tools, as are hammers and automobiles. All can be used to kill people.

But a hammer can build a house. A knife can chop vegetables. An automobile can get me to a loved one’s home. What other, helpful use does an assault weapon have besides killing people? None.

Try again, Judge Benitez. That argument is weak.

Diane Schofield, Vista



To the editor: So, if I understand the judge’s logic, this means an AR-15 can be conveniently used to efficiently slaughter family members just as it can for strangers?

David Salahi, Laguna Niguel